9.4m2 mosaic themed Belgian ceramic floor pre-1912
A handmade mosaic themed Belgian ceramic encaustic floor manufactured by Carrelages Céramiques de Chimay, Maufroid Freres & Soeur, Rue Poncet, Bourlers, Henegouwen, Belgium, who later became: S.A. La Céramique de Bourlers. Maufroid Freres et Soeur and traded as such between 1879 and 1912. The reverse of the tiles bears the Maufroid rings and centralised 'M'.
Totaling c.9.4m2 / 101 sq ft these period ceramic tiles, are +/- 16.5cm sq and +/- 15mm thick.
The floor comes with its original same size border tiles, which can be laid singularly or back to back, as shown in the photo gallery. There are also an additional 25 motif tiles, which were originally plinths fixed to the walls around the floor. These can be integrated into the floor, perhaps as a centralised motif, or be placed in door jambs.
We have recovered three of the internal border corners and none of the external border corners. However, these can be easily mitre cut from the existing regular border tiles and in the last image in the photo gallery we have shown a computerised schematic of how these mitre corners would look.
The floor has cleaned well of its old wax and mortar, as the high resolution photographs of a random section of the floor shows; a small number of tiles display groutable edge nibbles, expected of a floor of between 108 years and 141 years old. Some tiles also display surface capillary cracks. These cracks formed at the firing stage when the tile was removed from the kiln and reacted to a higher than normal humidity in the room during cooling. It does not effect the strength of the tile (they’re already 106 years old!) and all are groutable, as they were when the floor was first laid, adding to the handmade charm of the floor. A highly fired tile, it can be laid inside or outside of the home as high summer and sub-zero temperatures will have no effect on the ceramic and they will also work efficiently with under floor heating systems.
Tile quantities, give or take one or two:-
FIELD - 235 tiles - 6.4m2/ 69 sq ft
BORDER - 80 plus 3 corners - 2.26m2 / 24.3 sq ft. or 13.5 linear metres for a single tile lay / 6.76 linear metres for a back to back lay (44.3 ft and 22.1 ft)
MOTIF additionals - 25 tiles - 0.7m2 / 7.5 sq ft
Antique tiles were most commonly made in single or two tile moulds. Before current computer automation methods their moulds were made my hand and the colour slips mixed by eye. Kiln temperatures could also be variable, as could the firing time. The result is that often tiles display subtle size and thickness variations and there can be tonal variations in colours, owing to the slip mixing and/or firing time. All of this makes these handmade tiles unique and adds to their charm. Some floors display their subtle variations in size and tones, some not, but when photographing we always take a random section of the floor so that it is representative of the whole. A tiler should always dry lay a section of the tiles to familiarise himself with them before starting to fix lay.